Read the full article by Julia Bayly (Bangor Daily News)
“When the U.S. government turned over more than 600 acres of the former Loring Air Force Base to the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in 2009, the land was so polluted it was categorized as a federal superfund site.
While many of the toxins have been removed, concerning levels remain in the soil and water.
It turns out that when it comes to neutralizing at least one group of toxic chemicals, the solution may be planting cannabis. Lots of it.
Ongoing research by members of the Micmac Nation and the group Upland Grassroots, along with scientists in Connecticut and Virginia, is looking at the ability of industrial hemp to extract perfluorooctanesulfonic acid — PFOS — from the soil.
PFOS, along with inorganic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are often referred to as ‘forever chemicals.’ They are used in industrial and household products and have been found to pose health risks in humans.
The research explores one possible way to address the worsening problem of forever chemicals across the state. Dangerous levels of PFAS and PFOS have been found in Maine’s deer meat, chicken eggs, dairy milk, soil and groundwater. Those discoveries have left health and resource agencies scrambling to find ways to identify, mitigate and remove the health hazards. If it works, planting hemp would be the first known solution for absorbing forever chemicals from soil.”…